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City Inn's hidden treasures

This good value hotel offers more than just rooms to people who are willing to explore

Published on July 1st 2010.

City Inn's hidden treasures

The City Inn hotel in Piccadilly is well known in the business travel world for providing value for money while maintaining the kind of standards and personal touches usually associated with higher room rates. The four-star, independently-owned hotel won Business Travel Awards in 2006, 2007 and 2008 in recognition of this.

Venture further into the hotel and you'll find the secluded Blue Bar, an intimate, cosy hideaway where you can meet for afternoon tea, or bar bites in the evening. Cocktails, champagne, and a prime spot for people-watching – this hidden gem is worth seeking out.

But although it is seen as one of the city's top hotels for corporate travel, it is far from corporate in style and outlook. And its commitment to offering value is apparent in the way it caters for all guests, not just those on a company expense account. If you're planning a meal out, a private event such as a wedding, or an overnight stay right at the heart of the city, you can expect the same combination of good value and excellent service.

It's an ethos reflected in the hotel's programme of free art exhibitions, in its well trained and highly attentive staff, and in its distinctive lounge bars and restaurant which attract a much wider crowd than just hotel guests who don't feel like venturing outdoors.

The Piccadilly Lounge is an alluring orange-lit space, popular for early evening cocktails and its extensive whisky 'library'. The food menu features delights such as cray fish bisque, a super foods salad with blueberries, toasted seeds and beets, and an upmarket version of the classic knickerbockerglory.

Venture further into the hotel and you'll find the secluded Blue Bar, an intimate, cosy hideaway where you can meet for afternoon tea, or bar bites in the evening. Cocktails, champagne, and a prime spot for people-watching – this hidden gem is worth seeking out.

City Cafe, the hotel's restaurant, has recently been awarded an AA rosette. Head chef Phil Green produces fresh British cuisine using seasonal produce – the a la carte and market menus change regularly. City Cafe has a two-course lunchtime menu from £9.95 and a two-course dinner menu from £14.95. A terrace overlooking the shiny new surroundings of Piccadilly Place is tempting in summer at least.

The hotel also offers plenty for people who want to do their celebrating in private. The eleventh floor SkyLounge is the most spectacular option – a penthouse suite with fantastic views of Manchester and an outdoor terrace and BBQ area. It's perfect for birthdays, meetings or a once-in-a-lifetime intimate dinner.

A series of additional meeting and events spaces are light, bright and spacious with modern equipment. These can be hired for weddings and parties as well as corporate get-togethers. This is one of the closest hotels to Piccadilly Station and with free WiFi, it's a popular meeting place for business folk travelling into Manchester by train.

City Inn has a life beyond its hotel rooms but if you are staying there, you'll find thoughtful touches such as iMac entertainment systems, White Company toiletries and power showers in all of its 285 rooms. They're the kind of thing you normally pay through the nose for, but here they've kept the prices very reasonable with weekend bed and breakfast rates starting at just £59 for a double/twin room.

In a crowded hotel market, City Inn clearly understands the importance of standing out from the competition – it's why it has become known as one of the UK's leading hotel brands with six hotels across the UK and two more scheduled to open within the next year. For a well-equipped, good value room, or a restaurant or lounge bar with charisma as well as class, this is one of Manchester's strongest contenders.

To find out more about City Inn, including details of promotions on food and drink, click here.

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AnonymousJuly 1st 2010.

Very nice hotel, can vouch for that from personal experience. Cheap and nasty looking building though, particularly from Piccadilly - more Travel Inn than City Inn. No wonder they need to go the extra mile to promote the place.

AnonymousJuly 2nd 2010.

I held my 30th in the Sky Lounge last summer - without a doubt one of the best venues in the city and the most helpful staff you'll meet.

Stuie72July 7th 2010.

When this place opened it was amazing great food and service. But it seems to have slacked off over the past year or so. We went for a valantine dinner and were in and out with in 45 mins. how romantic is that. My partner went for his Christmas meal and said it was decidely OK.

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